Save 81 makes strong case against community grid at Council meeting

The Save 81 coalition’s Joe Bright told Syracuse common councilors and members of the public Thursday evening that maintaining Interstate 81’s existing high-speed route through Syracuse is essential for Southside businesses like his and others across the city and around the region.

“In 2016 we surveyed our customers and asked them, ‘Would you visit Dunk and Bright if a community grid option were implemented?'” Bright said at the Council’s information session on the I-81 project. “Sixteen percent of them said, no, they would not shop at Dunk and Bright if there were a community grid in place. Losing 16 percent of our customers would be disastrous for Dunk and Bright, but the implications of that phenomena would be similar for any Southside business.”

Bright also highlighted the fact that a dozen polls and surveys conducted since 2013 have shown┬áthat well more than 50 percent of Central New Yorkers support maintaining a I-81’s existing route in some form, be it a reconstructed viaduct or a tunnel.

Bright isn’t alone in advocating against a so-called community grid replacement of I-81. Numerous business owners, thought leaders, concerned citizens and elected officials have joined with Save 81 to advocate for maintaining a high-speed route through the city.